The NFL season is nearing the midway point with the playoff picture starting to take form in fantasy football. It has ramped up the efforts of putting forth the best lineups each week, with the gravity of each matchup being that much more crucial. Here are five can’t-miss starts that should be made for Week 7.
1. Leonard Fournette
ESPN PROJECTION: 20.7 POINTS
Coming off a disappointing 2018 campaign that was hampered by injuries, Fournette has bounced back in a significant way this season as one of the NFL’s leading rushers.
Fournette has a highly favorable matchup in Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals’ atrocious defense. The Bengals have struggled tremendously against the run in 2019, giving up 184.5 yards per game.
It has equated to them allowing the most fantasy points to opposing running backs with 32.0 points per contest, which is 11.2 points above the league average. The Bengals have given up north of 100 rushing yards four times with at least one rushing touchdown in each game and more than 30 fantasy points three times.
There is no more advantageous matchup this week with Fournette having the potential to put up his best fantasy outing of the season, topping the 25.5 points he had in his 225 rushing yard effort against the Denver Broncos.
2. Saquon Barkley
ESPN PROJECTION: 22.4 POINTS
In the weeks that have followed since Barkley suffered an ankle injury in Week 3 action against the Tampa Buccaneers, the second-year back has progressively pushed through the recovery process.
Barkley is now set to make his return to the field after the team elected to give him the extended 10-day layoff from last Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots. He has the chance to torch the Arizona Cardinals defense, who are currently the seventh-worst against the rush giving up 132.8 yards per game.
It has the recipe for a massive performance in his first game back, showcasing why he was considered arguably the best fantasy option this season.
3. Josh Allen
ESPN PROJECTION: 21.7 POINTS
In his first season-plus in the NFL, Allen has been a solid fantasy quarterback behind his dual-threat ability with his arm and legs.
Coming off a bye week, he has a prime matchup against the Miami Dolphins, who possess one of the worst defenses in the league. Through the first six weeks of the season, the Dolphins are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, allowing 24.8 points per game, which is 8.6 points more than the league average.
Although they limited Case Keenum to just 15.6 points last week, Miami has allowed more than 20 points in each of the previous four games played with 14 total touchdowns given up. With all that in mind, Allen should be in line for QB1 production at home in Week 7 action.
4. Jared Goff
ESPN PROJECTION: 17.4 POINTS
I know I know, the Rams have looked like a train wreck over the past few weeks, especially in their convincing loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. But if there was ever a remedy to get Goff and their passing game back on track, it’s against the Atlanta Falcons defense.
The Falcons have struggled to stop ANYBODY through the air this season ranking as the sixth-worst defense against the pass, giving up 271.2 yards per contest. Meanwhile, they are only behind the Dolphins as the worst team against opposing quarterbacks, giving up 24.6 points per game while allowing north of 20 points to the position in the last four straight contests.
If there was ever a matchup that should get Goff back on track from his atrocious start to the season, it’s this one against the Falcons.
5. 49ers D/ST
ESPN PROJECTION: 8.6 POINTS
One of the most substantial developments this season has been the stellar play of the 49ers defense, who have established themselves as one of the top units in the league.
San Francisco has steamrolled through opponents with ease over the first six weeks of the season without allowing a single offensive touchdown in the last four games. They have posted back-to-back double-digit fantasy point outings while garnering at least four sacks in each contest.
It’s a trend that will stay the same against the Redskins in Week 7, who have struggled to put up points this season. Before last week’s game, Washington allowed three straight double-digit performances to opposing defenses. It should be chalked up to another strong outing for the 49ers’ dominant defense.